Leadership and Management in Human Resource

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje*, Macedonia, on August 26**, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months’ training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.’

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‘On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity”, whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope John Paul II.’

‘Today the order comprises Active and Contemplative branches of Sisters and Brothers in many countries. In 1963 both the Contemplative branch of the Sisters and the Active branch of the Brothers was founded. In 1979 the Contemplative branch of the Brothers was added, and in 1984 the Priest branch was established.’

‘The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. They provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe, North America and Australia.’ (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1979/teresa-bio.html)

 

The story shows that Mother Theresa has affected many people, people in the neighborhood, people in the workplace and all others.  This is what we call influence.

Leadership as defined by Mosley, et al., (2001), is the ‘the process of influencing the individual and group activities toward goal setting and goal achievement.’   Thus leaders must have the ability to influence, persuade and inspire people’s behavior, a readiness to absorb and grasp interpersonal stress and adjust to it, capacity to structure or design interactions with the rest of the group to be able to determine the needs of a particular task, to have confidence in one’s self, and the passion to initiate in doing things out (Cohen, et al., 2001).  A simple example can be viewed inside the classroom.  When the class is noisy, the teacher is busy doing her own thing, the students are individually doing his or her own thing, and others are chatting, laughing and shouting, a leader may emerge.  If it is too noisy already and the teacher does not mind the students at all, one would say ‘sshhhh’, it means quiet, right?  This act of first what should be done is initiative.  And this act would lead the rest of the class to be silent.  The effect, which is the silence of the class is the effect of the act of saying ‘sshhh’.  This means the act of bringing the class to silence has affected the rest of the class.  This is influence.

We may see however that the abilities mentioned earlier which a leader must possess are not present in just one leader.  One leader may have this kind of ability and attitude, whereas another may have a different ability.  Ghandi may be different from Bush, from Mother Theresa and from Pope Benedict the XVI.  As we all know, Pope Benedict XVI is religious, passionate in bringing the people to prayer.  Bush may be good in political leadership, that is, in bringing people together to work for the government and to protect the citizens as well as the inhabitants of other nations.  Thus, one question can be raised.  Is influence sufficient to be a good leader?  This question would bring us to the classification and characteristics of influence and how each would affect others in the workplace.

Talking about influence, it usually involves two persons. First is the person who influences, he is what we call the leader. He is the person who affects the behavior of others; he is the person who affects the work of the employees. In the workplace, he is usually the boss, although there are ordinary employees who influence their bosses or their co-employees. But they are not usually identified or recognized as such. Thus, it is usually the bosses recognized as having influence over their employees. Second person in the influence spectrum is the person who is influenced. he is usually a person lower than the person who influences in terms of work in the workplace, or person lower in position or rank. in short, he is usually the employee. Rare can we see a boss who is being influenced by the employee, although we know that an employee in one way or another influences the boss. However it is the boss who usually has the net influence, thus having the leadership skills.  Some examples can be seen in the classroom setting. Under normal situations, it is the teacher who is to have leadership skills. The teacher teaches the student, the teacher directs the things to be done by the student, he controls the activities the student in school. Clearly, the teacher is higher than the student. It can be seen then that the teacher exerts more influence over the student. Also, in the workplace, we can see the same pattern. Once the employee goes to the office, he is governed by the boss. The boss teaches him what to do; the boss teaches him how to do it. Clearly, the boss exercises more influence over him – the employee. This does not mean though that an employee can never become a leader. We know that human being as he is, he also exerts influence over others, even over his boss only that his influence is lesser than that of others. That is the net influence is one exerted by the boss. We have to take note also that as an employee, he can be a leader in his own self, that is, he can be a leader with regards to his friends, peers, classmates, even with simple acquaintances.

The above examples show influence exerted by one over others. But in real life, not all persons exerting influence over others are great leaders, or not even leaders themselves. Thus, we have to look beyond what makes up a leader, a good leader.

Influence is not per sufficient. There are other factors to consider.  Influence can be formal, informal, legitimate or illegitimate.

Formal influence is one practiced by persons in authority by reason of their position or office, like the boss in a corporation.  They are the persons who enforce particular behaviors. by reason of their authority, they are usually looked up to and regarded by others. in the workplace, they are exemplified in the person of the bosses. Bosses as we all know possess the authority by reason of their position or rank (Cohen et al., 2001).

Informal influence is one not prescribed or obtained by reason of one’s office or position that is why it is called informal (Cohen et al., 2001).

Legitimate influence is that influence exercised by persons having the right to do so such as those elected into office or appointed into office (Cohen et al., 2001).  Legitimate influence is usually accepted by the person being influenced.  Thus, the follower has the motivating spirit to follow what has been directed by the leader.

Illegitimate influence is not accepted as proper by the person being influenced.  It is exerted by a person not having the authority to do so.  Hence, the person having exerted illegitimate influence is more likely than not hated by the followers. (Cohen et al., 2001)

There can however be a combination of the four factors, thus, there can be influence which is formal-legitimate, formal-illegitimate, informal-legitimate and informal-illegitimate.

With the above definition, we know move to the manifestations of leadership.  Leadership is not an abstract thing; it is something that we can see.  Hence, there is leadership when there is compliance, identification and internalization.

Compliance amounts to doing something under pain of punishment or reprimand.  A person complies not because he wants to in his own volition or free will but because of the negative effect noncompliance might cause.  External manifestation shows there is compliance, there is following the order of the superior, but internal manifestation says otherwise, there can be resentment, defiance or hatred at worst (Cohen et al., 2001).

Identification is one where a person is influenced by another because of attractiveness of that other, or that he may be likable and has charisma or represents something one aspires for (Cohen et al., 2001).  This usually happens in the movie industry, actresses and actors are liked by many people. That is why they exert influence over those who identify with them (Cohen et al., 2001).

Internalization happens when the leaders possess the necessary expertise and values to be credible to their followers; they come to believe that what the leader suggests is in fact the best action to take.  There is already passion to do things because of the leader, and there is greater cooperation because the cooperation is sourced within the individual follower himself.  There is no resentment, there is no defiance but an open mind to follow the orders of the leader.  There is greater participation, that is (Cohen et al., 2001).

Identification and internalization combined creates commitment (Cohen et al., 2001). Commitment is better observed in the workplace, there is greater passion, devotion for work and initiative in doing things done. There is less pressure to work as work is considered more likely to be that of a play rather than a work (under common understanding)). There is greater enjoyment for work and in effect yields positive output.

In sum, leadership is the process of exerting influence over others. But, can leadership be learned?  According to David Pottruck (cited in Hellriegel, 2002), competencies and abilities of a good leader can be learned.  The same view is likewise shared by Chris Lee cited in (Cohen et al., 2001).

Leadership is sometimes equated with power.  What is power?  Power, according to Hellriegel et al., (2002), is one’s ability to influence the behavior of others.  In relation to leadership, we previously defined it as the process of influencing others.  Combined together, we can say that in leadership there is power.  By power and coupled with leadership, three distinct behaviors are effected upon employees or upon followers: commitment, compliance, or resistance (Hellriegel et al., 2002).  Therefore, it is safe to say that leadership and power come together makes up a good leader, a good environment to work on.

Characteristics of Leadership

Lehman (2007) outlined seven characteristics of leadership. They are as follows:

1.                 Vision.  A good leader looks at the future.  He sees potential problems, potential outcome of the activities at hand.  By looking at what is going to happen in the future, and trying to predict the circumstances that are going to happen, a good leader is better able to prepare the group for possible course of action. In doing so, success is more likely than not at arms length.

2.                  Motivation.  Motivation is the will power to do things as they appear.  A good leader who has motivation drives others to work, drives others to move and do things as directed without any hesitation.  A good leader is the one who has the energy and passion for work.  Likewise, a good leader is one who knows how to motivate and encourage people to work. He is able to acknowledge the strengths and contributions of every individual.  He is able to appreciate the good works done by the followers.

3.                  Emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is also known as empathy or intuition.  It is understanding what others feel. It is an innate sense about how other people feel or think depending on certain circumstances.

4.                  Empowerment.   Power, as the definition above states, is the ability to influence the behavior of others (Hellriegel et al., 2002).  This operates to bring people into action.

5.                  Trustworthiness.  Trust of the followers upon the leader plays a big role in leadership.  In the absence of trust, followers might lose commitment and passion for work.  Thus, it is important for the leader to be consistent with his views, principles and beliefs.

6.                  Risk-taker.  A good leader must be a risk-taker.  Doing something without any idea of the outcome is a gamble.  A good leader is one who gambles and accepts the outcome as they come.  By taking risks, a good leader learns from the experience and makes new programs or projects out of it. A good leader profits from taking risks.

7.                  Focus.  A good leader has focus on the direction with which to take.  One step at a time, that is.

8.                  Humor. Work should not be too serious for one to get bored.  Humor must be a part of it.  When there is humor, there is happiness. When there is humor, things are a lot easier, workers are a lot comfortable working side by side with each other.

Leadership Traits

There are two leadership traits mentioned by Hellriegel et al., (2002) in his book on Management.  These are as follows:

1.                 Emotional Intelligence.  Emotional intelligence is a combination of abilities and traits where individuals understand, acknowledge and recognize their own and other people’s feelings and emotions, and thereby utilizes their thoughts and ideas to guide their individual thoughts and actions.  In relation to leadership, emotional intelligence include self-monitoring, confidence, self-control, genuineness, empathy and ownership.

2.                 Ethical leadership. Being ethical means knowing, recognizing, acknowledging and living in consonance with moral traits and values.  This includes honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity.

Leadership Types

Wagner (No year) has outlined several leadership types. They are as follows:

1.                 Authoritarian.  Authoritarian leaders provide clear precise goals, how to them, when to them and who should do them.  They work separately from the followers and make decisions without having to consult the followers.  They decide independently in their own without taking into consideration the opinions of others.

2.                 participative (democratic).  From the term participative, there is greater interaction and communication between leaders and their followers.  Leaders provide guidance and support for the followers and acknowledge also the opinions and beliefs of their followers.  Lewin, as Wagner said, finds this type of leadership to be the most effective one because participation and cooperation between leaders and followers is established and nurtured.

3.                 Delegative (Laissez-fair).  Under delegative leadership, leaders rely on their members or followers.  Followers make the decision on what course of action to take.  Hence, is the least effective among the three.

There are also other leadership types practiced by persons in different walks of life. They include the following:

1.                 Strategic Leadership.  This is usually found in trainings and services of military such as the US Army, Air Force and the like;

2.                 Influence Oriented Leadership. Under this type of leadership, focus is given more on the degree of influence one exerts over another;

3.                 Cross-cultural leadership;

4.                 Coaching;

5.                 Level 5 Leadership;

6.                 Servant Leadership.  In this type of leadership, the leader subordinates his desires and own good for the benefit of others (http://www.legacee.com/info/leadership/leadershipstyles.html).

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is defined by Mosley et al., (2001) as one which ‘converts followers into leaders’ and/or ‘may convert leaders into moral agents’.  Transformational leaders inspire and drive others through their goals and visions.  They are confident in sharing with the rest of group their ideals, thoughts and beliefs despite oppositions or disagreements with others.  This what drives people in following them as leaders.  Transformational leaders design goals, ways and means and new approaches in resolving conflicts and long-standing problems.  They exhibit enthusiasm and passion for things and are more likely to open-minded to change and to betterment.  They are thus open for opinions and suggestions to make better the matters at hand.  They also initiate the doing of certain things and acknowledge the efforts and contributions of others (Hellriegel et al., 2001).

Transformational leaders are most often charismatic, that is, the leader possesses ‘pride, respect, and esprit de corps’ and are able to identify and devote their time on what is important (Mosley et al.,2001) or as what Hellriegel et al. (2001) say, they are inspirational. That is, the have the ability to obtain and get the devotion of their followers.  They get their followers do what they are directed.

Also, Hellriegel et al. (2001) sees transformational leaders as visionary.  They look at the future and plan ahead of time.  They set their goals and courses of action.  They establish a road map of what is going to happen.  They are also thoughtful.  They do not only think of the benefits they may receive from doing things but also think for the benefit of others.  They recognize the needs of others and as much as possible, they try to answer the needs of others.  They are likewise considerate.  They are not too strict as to create defiance and hatred upon their followers.  They give chances and explain to their followers the significance of certain things.  They do not think of personal gain but acknowledge the personal needs of every individual.  Thus, they adjust to the level of the followers and take into consideration their feelings, views and opinions over certain matters.  They are willing to give up some things which would have benefited them for the sake of others. They are also trustworthy.  Being consistent with the goals and views in life, they more often than not obtain the respect, trust and confidence of their followers.  Lastly, they are confident.  They know what the right thing should be done, and stick to the same.  Thus, they become familiar with how to handle the risks they are to take and stand on it.

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Bibliography

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Cohen, A., Fink, S., Gadon, H., Willits, R (2001). Effective Behavior in Organizations, 7th Ed. McGraw-Hill Company, New York.

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Hellriegel, D., Jackson, S., Slowcum, J. (2002). Management, A Competency-Based Approach. Southwestern, Canada.

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Mosley, D., Megginson, L., Pietri, P. (2001). Supervisory Management, The Art of Empowering and Developing People. Southwestern College, US.

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Kendra Van Wagner, http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/a/leadstyles.htm

http://www.legacee.com/Info/Leadership/LeadershipStyles.html

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1979/teresa-bio.html

Zimmerman Lehman (2007). http://www.zimmerman-lehman.com/leadership

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